Long time listener, first time caller.
We bought a used Tandemania Comp, I believe its a 96 for 250 bucks a few months ago. Seems like a great deal, however the previous owner may have left it stored where its exposed to the environment. The timing chain snapped 100 feet from his driveway. We continued the test ride with my girlfriend pedalling and me steering (she was not too happy about that). We knocked off 25 bucks, and I cobbled up two old chains (different colors, one being 10 years older than the other to get the bike running. This weekend, we snapped the rear chain while out on the bike trail. I was able to put it back together (in the process, breaking 2 more links) and nurse our way to the nearest bike shop (Performance) to buy a new chain (bought 3 sets). Upon replacement, found that the old chain had at least 3 more cracks waiting to pop. Since replacing the chain, I decided to ride to the nearest REI where they had in stock a Shimano 14-34 7 speed Megarange freewheel to replace the old rusty 7 speed Suntour freewheel. To my surprise, the new freewheel would cause the chain to jam up on the smallest cog and the frame. The mechanic moved the spacers around, but would have to redish the wheel. We ended up locking out the smallest gear and returning the spacers to get me home since I have invested in bike tools and I've spent money on 3 chains, a freewheel, and labor for the swap. The only reason I had them work at this point is because I didn't want to have to buy the freewheel tool for the old Suntour.
The million dollar question(s), would it be better to add spacers on both side of the hub to prevent redishing, or just the drive side with a redish?
We are a fairly new team, 400 lb weight including the bike, but would like to tour in the future. The hubs seem to be stock generic cartridge bearing hubs, with freewheel and drum brake threading and solid axle on the rear. I am aware of potential axle breakage. I am going to be building a new wheelset when finances allow. There is also a mounting tab on the left chainstay, I imagine for an Arai drag brake. Can I use this to mount a disk brake?